The NFL said its conference championship games Sunday each drew an average of more than 40 million viewers, but the figures were down by double-digits from last year.
Sunday’s match-up that drifted into prime time between New England and Baltimore averaged 47.7 million viewers on CBS using fast national numbers. But the late game last year between the New York Giants and San Francisco pulled in an average of 57.6 million -- a 17% drop. That game was on Fox.
Sunday’s early game between Atlanta and San Francisco averaged 42 million, down 14% from the 48.7 million in 2012. The games were on Fox this year and CBS in 2012.
The NFL said last year’s Giants-San Francisco game was the third most-watched conference title game in history. That may have been helped by the New York market.
Sunday’s prime-time game included Baltimore, the country’s 27th largest market. With the Ravens in the Super Bowl, does that mean ratings for the big game could go down? Not necessarily. CBS Sports chief Sean McManus said recently he doesn’t think market size has much impact on Super Bowl ratings.
Last year’s Super Bowl with a New York team barely drew more viewers than the year before when Green Bay played.